The Tallinn-based accelerator Startup Wise Guys has recently announced the opening of its new application window for the autumn 2013 batch. The 10-week programme, hosted twice a year, will accept up to 10 early-stage technology startups looking to turn their innovative idea into a product.
Who are they looking for?
Although the accelerator has a strong focus on Eastern Europe, teams from around the world are accepted. Make sure that having an idea is great, but you’ll need to be able to present a minimal viable product (MVP) in order to stand a better chance to be chosen for the programme. The accelerator has so far targeted mainly technology businesses exploiting the web, but have announced their intention to place more emphasis on teams with female founders and co-founders, thus address the under-representation of women in the startup community.
“There’s a wide set of skills that we’re looking for in our applicants,” said Christopher Brown of Startup Wise Guys. “A great idea is a great idea, but it needs to come with a well-balanced team. Applicants should be able to demonstrate their drive – to work together, to follow up, and to do things as promised.”
The Wise Guys provide the chosen teams with up to 15.000 euros based on the number of founders in return for 8% equity. Each founder receives up 5.000 euros each, and participating teams should have at least two founders.
During the three-month programme, teams will work with more than 100 international mentors such as Jon Bradford from TechStars London (formerly Springboard) and co-founder of ignite100. Other experts include Ballou PR owner Colette Ballou, and TechHub co-founder Elizabeth Varley. (The complete list is available here).
The acceleration cycle focuses on three main activities.
Shape: Teams will shape their business model and, with the help of mentors and workshops, focus on the details while planning their product.
Build: The startups will showcase their product and reach out to potential customers while getting continuous feedback.
Sell: The teams will have the opportunity to introduce their products to angel investors and venture capitalists in both London and Tallinn. The Wise Guys team is currently working on a follow-up US programme in Silicon Valley for the selected teams.
Some success stories
Since the Wise Guys built their first accelerator in 2012, 15 teams from over 10 countries have come to Tallinn for the intense three-month programme to turn their ideas into scalable businesses. Alumni teams include Estonian startup Like a Local, a website and mobile app helping tourists to explore cities like a local, BrandieGames from Poland, enabling companies to create games for their brands, and Brickflow from Hungary, who were also among the finalists of the recent Telekom Innovation Contest in Berlin. The complete list of startups can be found here.
So whether you’re trying to expand internationally or further develop your idea or product, you can apply now to the Startup Wise Guys accelerator programme here. The deadline is 5 July, with the Autumn 2013 cohort starting in Tallinn in September.